View Full Version : 1-pocket ... how and when did you learn?

Keith Talent
06-26-2003, 11:32 PM
Was watching a good game the other night on 4.15 pockets and remembered how fascinating it can be. Made me think it's about time I took it up. Probably need to buy Rod's book, but I'm wondering at what point the one-hole shooters here started playing the game and how they learned it.

06-27-2003, 12:51 AM
I'm still learning /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

I have been playing 1 pocket for about a year now and i believe i can count all the games, lets see about 30 maybe. thats how hard it is to find people to play it with around my local pool halls.

still its a great game.

On a side note I ran an 8 and a 5 in a game of 3C billiards tonight, I did it on a non heated table. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Keith Talent
06-27-2003, 02:28 AM

Kinda like John Paul Jones said, I have not yet begun to learn! Except for a few decent games I've watched ... and I'm talking error-free games, 15 mins worth of safes, then a clean runout from a tiny opening.

Anyway, I find it way more entertaining than 14.1, which is like a long slog up a muddy hill to me. But then again, I don't know the finer points of that game, either. Of course, every shot is a big shot, with a swing of a dozen points or more riding on it, but with the endless procession of racks, it all seems like a blur.

But with 1-pocket it's all right there, like in 9 ball, in a way.

Luck with the 3C ... ran 3 (big whoop) a couple of times. Been about 20 years since I've tried it, but it's on the list.

06-27-2003, 04:46 AM
How? Forced into it by a crazy lunatic who wouldn't play nineball.
When? Several months ago.
Why? It was the only way to get on a 9' table.
Where? Arlington, Texas (Click's Billiards.)
Did I Learn? Yes...I learned the game can make a sane person nuts.


Ken (hard to type in this straight jacket)

06-27-2003, 05:24 AM
I played my first game about two years ago with the same lunatic that Rackmup mentioned at Clicks in Arlington. At that time I was working nights so I was playing during the day and that was the only action in the room but it was a game I immediately fell in love with---what a mentally draining game. I got laid off from that job on September 8th 2001 and didn't find work until early January of 2002 so for those four months I spent 6 to 10 hours almost every day at Clicks playing one pocket. My toughest match was with Joe Salazar, playing a nickel a game with me getting 9-6. We played for over 4 hours and at the end I was down a nickel.
Then Rackmup shows up one day but that story is for another time, oh yeah, the rumors about him and Martha are true!!!!!

06-27-2003, 05:39 AM
I'm am just learning this game. Within the last 5 months, I've probably played about 25 games of it. It is a game that teaches you patience, which is something I am very short on. I played 3 games of it last night and won 2/3 games with a spot of 11-6. One pocket is a nice change of pace from 8 or 9 ball.


06-27-2003, 05:52 AM
1968. Memphis, Tennessee. Played Cripple Jack Hunter when I was about 15~19 years old. I began playing him like 9-6 but eventually could play him even. He was a very good player and came out of Chicago where the game was very popular. It is a very old game being played back in the 1800's. I think it is the one game that really teaches as you play. You don't HAVE to learn while playing nine-ball and you can get pretty mindless in the other games which causes a need to practice outside your matches. One pocket will teach you as you go....or you give up in frustration. Wish I could still play Jack on occasion. Man, he could put some moves on you.


06-27-2003, 06:03 AM
I learned it back in the early 70s. Don't play it much now. No one around here wants to play. There is one friend of mine that moved away,only plays one pocket or odd ball when he comes over.I enjoy the game. Back then it was mostly one pocket, 14.1, odd ball, or Keno and of course 6 ball and 9 ball. I mostly play 8 ball and 9 ball now.

06-27-2003, 06:28 AM

Like many others I was forced to play the game in the beginning....I used to match up with this cab driver in Portland Oregon...I would give him the 7 in 9-ball, I would give him the one hole and the break in heads up golf but in one pocket I played him even and had no chance..... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

There are so many moves in one pocket I think the only way to get good at the game is to pound your head against the wall till you've seen them all....unfortunitly for me nobody plays the game where I'm located.....I do play the game against myself in practice.....great game..

06-27-2003, 07:04 AM
Well, heck OPC anyone can make 6 balls. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I "learned" the game from OPC and Rackmup. Was that a good idea?

Actually I do not think I have learned much except the rules and when to call a pocket. After that, I am no more than a bad 9 ball player shooting shots that make 1p players cringe. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I can still hear Ken telling OPC, "Watch what Ed does this time, it will be hilarious."

eg8r <~~Thinks OPC lets me win when we play

Fred Agnir
06-27-2003, 07:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Keith Talent:</font><hr> Was watching a good game the other night on 4.15 pockets <hr /></blockquote>That's quite a pocket. How'd you measure it?

Fred &lt;~~~ still learning

Voodoo Daddy
06-27-2003, 08:43 AM
Grady Mathews came to ur room in the early 80's. I saw him shoot two railers and kicks, safeties and banks like I never knew. From that point on I decided to study the game from all angles. Its my favorite game on the pool table.

06-27-2003, 08:57 AM
I've got a similar experience; Hanging around West End Billiards(years ago), I had a chacne to watch alot of good One Hole players-Pat Fleming, Miz, Johnny Erv, Hoppy, Neptune Joe, etc. West End was one of those places where any Roadie coming through NY made a stop there. Hopkins busted most of them, though /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif Miz was great too. He would never stall, he would just tell everyone that he was the best and to try to beat him. Pound for pound(and that is alot of poundage), one of the toughest players for the dough. Even though I don't have a strong One Hole game, I did learn alot of moves just by watching.


06-27-2003, 09:20 AM
My first encounters with one hole were around 1975 when, after a divorce, I moved in with Jr. (Lefty) Goff, premier one holer. Unfortunately, at the time I considered one pocket an old man's game, not nearly as exciting as 9 ball. Consequently, not nearly enough one pocket rubbed off on me. Now that I qualify as an old man, I wish it had.

I did have some good times watching him torture some great players at one pocket.


06-27-2003, 09:52 AM
I'd rather have brain surgery than play 1 pocket. Having said that, I'll probably play a little one hole with my buddy Rackmup during one of our upcoming challenge matches tenatively titled: "Blood Bath by the Beach"

Kato~~~is fairly positive he can beat Ken in one pocket if he's wearing a straight jacket. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Voodoo Daddy
06-27-2003, 10:46 AM
In all honesty...brain surgury would be a waste on you. You got some good one pocket education, got see a world champion bare down and come from one loss to snap his fourth consecutive event AND he bought you dinner. Brain Surgury?...more like installation /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif HAHAHAHAHAHA

p.s....I am now rooting for Ken!!!!

Keith Talent
06-27-2003, 11:14 AM
Thought somebody might call me on that. It's an approximation of an exact measurement, you could say. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif Two balls won't nearly fit in the jaws, and I think the bite is a little bigger than 1/4 inch, so I rounded down to 4.15.

Anyway, it looks almost like snooker when you're down over a long shot.

06-27-2003, 11:36 AM
Actually Voodoo, I told my "Dinner w/Nick Varner, World Champion" story last night. One pocket when played by great players (and I did see some great players) is not a bad game, it's actually quite fascinating. One pocket when played by a hack like me is akin to passing kidney stones without drugs. When played by Rackmup it's like shooving bamboo shoots up your nose. When played by Nick Varner it's like poetry I guess.

On the flip side, I can watch 12 hours of 9-ball, I cannot in good conscience watch 12 hours of one pocket without constant psychiatric evaluation and mind numbing drugs.

Kato~~~wants Voodoo to root for Rackmup because it will just bring out all the fight in this dog.

06-27-2003, 11:52 AM
Around the area where I live NJ-NY there use to be a group of one pocket players that liked to gamble big stakes.Although I was never a gambler they knew me from coming in the club and I use to watch them play.Several times I saw Allen Hopkins playing these guys and had heard that the stakes were very high.After a while, and on slow days I would play a few of these guys for 10 or 20 a game, and learned a lot.At one point I broke dead even 5 to 5 and still wonder if I was being hustled ha-ha.Anyway it's a great game and I haven't played it in years.My observation at the time was that, it was played mostly by the over the hill gang, of which I now belong to ha-ha.It seemed to me that most of these guys were pretty good 14-1 players at one time
and after years of playing, boredom set in and they started playing one pocket.Also I guess by then they had the cash to play these big stakes.

Voodoo Daddy
06-27-2003, 12:02 PM
What other reason would I have for rooting for a Texan?...HAHAHAHAAHAHAH

06-27-2003, 05:31 PM
What other reason would I have for rooting for a Texan?...<hr /></blockquote>

I was born and raised in Arizona. I was made a Texan by a bad decision involving a woman, the consumption of too many Lone Star beers and the purchase of a pair of Justin Ropers.

Now, according to Texas law, I must remain here until I find another unsuitable female, sober up from the brews and wear a hole in the sole of my boots.

They have some very serious rules here. Playing one-pocket is one of the laws most strictly enforced.


Kowboy Ken

Keith Talent
06-27-2003, 05:41 PM
Talk about dying with your boots on. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

I'm saddled with a pair of pointy-toed Dan Post boots that I can't take out of my closet and can't bring myself to throw away. It's the rule in New York that if you step out the door in a rig like that: 1) Your spousal unit will up and move to another zip code (at least 10 blocks away) 2) Everybody at the bar or at work will call you Tex and start ragging you about your pal Dubya. 3) And if you show up in Houston with them, wearing a Mets hat /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif ... you guys tell me.

06-27-2003, 05:41 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Kato:</font><hr> Kato~~~wants Voodoo to root for Rackmup because it will just bring out all the fight in this dog. <hr /></blockquote>

Just a little "heads up" for you:

You will get smoked in one hole (Race-to-3.)
You will have a chance in nineball (race-to-7.)
The outcome of 8-ball (race-to-5) will be quite different than last time.
There will be NO straight pool.
You will buy every other pitcher of beer.
We will play where they serve good <font color="red">chicken wings </font color> .
You will pout on your way home, wondering all the while: "How did I let him <font color="blue">blister</font color> me like that?

Now...go outside and practice falling down and getting beat up because I don't want you to be caught off guard when I get there.


Ken /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

06-27-2003, 06:33 PM
The sun has risen many times since my first game of one hole. I got a good education living and playing in the LA area. I matched up on a fairly regular basis with Marvin Henderson. He was just one of several strong 1P players in that area. Marvin is pictured in one of those One Pocket books. Great game but you have to play it more than once in a while to keep up with the moves and not get trapped.


06-27-2003, 07:02 PM
Kato=my money is on you, I have seen Mr. Rackmup play one hole and it isn't pretty----something about him thinking he can make any shot from any where that keeps getting him in trouble. Just hang with the ---I choke on the word Cowboy and you will do fine. And please update the board with the outcome of the "Battle" because no one takes Ken as a reliable source!!!!! Maybe he has spent too much time with Martha baking---who knows!!!!!
But this much I can guarantee, you will have a great time.

John in NH
06-27-2003, 07:37 PM
Hi Keith,

I started playing one pocket with someone that I met on the CCB about a year ago, his username is NH_Steve. We've been playing one pocket at least once a week ever since. It's been a great learning experience for me, I consider Steve an expert at the game, I'm very fortunate to have met him.

It seems fascinating to me that Steve is just an average 9-ball player and yet he can give me all that I can handle in one pocket, it's uncanny the way Steve can maneuver the balls near his pocket and not leave me a shot in the process, sometimes it's frustating for me because I'm not used to being shut down in any pool game.

Steve's love of the game of one pocket is the reason that he has become such a strong competitor at it and this is a lesson for anyone interested in learning the game. An average 9-ball player can frustrate a seasoned veteran.

Steve has excellent cue ball control which more than makes up for his weakness in pocketing balls.



Keith Talent
06-27-2003, 08:02 PM
That sounds like incentive to the likes of me. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Then again, aside from ball-pocketing consistency, the weakest part of my game would be safety play. What was it that I do well? Oh yeah, whipping out the wallet.

06-27-2003, 08:09 PM
Hi Dee. I know Chris and I would both be up for some one pocket at the Open. Chris is a much better player than myself, but I love the game!


06-28-2003, 12:20 AM
It is definitely a game of patience. You can play precisely for 1/2 hr or more then one minor error and all those great shots and safey's are all for nothing. Very unforgiving but it will improve your 9 ball game while you are learning.

06-28-2003, 05:06 AM

I look forward to it and everything else at the Open. I stuck the check/money order (for the t-shirts)in the mail for the shirts on Wednesday so they should be there next week if the Postal Service can find you from Pennsylvania.

Have great weekend.

06-28-2003, 05:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Karatemom:</font><hr> Hi Dee. I know Chris and I would both be up for some one pocket at the Open. Chris is a much better player than myself, but I love the game!

Heide <hr /></blockquote>

I would love to play 1-p just once. Hope someone there has time for a newby. ww will play me 8ball or 9ball but hates 1-p. Hope this helps wally. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

06-28-2003, 07:03 AM
Back in the late 70s or early 80s. I was challenged by an older biker dude, to play some 9 ball races for cheap sets. When he couldn't beat me he asked me to play some One Pocket. I had seen the game played many times, but had never played the game. He won the first few sets and got his money back and then pulled up.

I recall a very good One Pocket player telling me that almost everything you know about the game of pool is used in a short set of one pocket. Banks, Caroms, combos, cluster management, pocket speed, cue ball control, strategy, patience and defence. What better exercise can you have for your game?

Other players swear that One Pocket screws up your 9 ball stroke. I've witnessed this before, but can't say it's true for all players.

06-28-2003, 07:55 AM
Keith, I guess I played my first game of one-pocket back in the early 1960's. At the time I had quit school in my senior year of college, wasn't working, and played pool every day (or every night to be more accurate). I played mostly 9-ball using the old rules (push out at any time, so little or no defense or safties). I noticed that a couple of the best players played one-pocket as well as 9-ball, so I figured it was a cool game to learn. I liked the idea that you could develop a defensive game and use some strategy. If I had ever developed into a run-out 9-ball player, I doubt I would have turned to one-pocket. Unfortunately for me, the good one-pocket players I knew never taught me much about the game. I learned by watching others and getting beaten by better players. Still learning by the same methods today, but now there are videos and books that can be extremely valuable in picking up the finer points of the game.

Keith Talent
06-28-2003, 08:03 AM

Sounds like a tough way to learn, playing for dough your first time out. If I thought I could afford that, I think there are a few teachers available at one PH I frequent.

Could see how all that bunting could do something to your 9 ball stroke. But then again, the guy who won the game I mentioned at the top of this thread had walked up to me a few weeks ago and challenged me to a cheap set of 9 ball ... and I realized after I was down 3-0 in about 2 mins that I was a total fool playing him even. No stroke problems I could see. At least he played flat-out and didn't try to hustle me ... a pretty quick 7-1, though I blew a couple of chances to make it a little more respectable. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Suppose I may approach him for some 1P if I can get a spot that'll at least make it sporting.

06-28-2003, 09:18 AM
Do you realize you posted 3 times about a game you know nothing about just to say you don't play it but would like to?

hope this helps

06-28-2003, 09:45 AM
Let's see.. "how'd I get so lucky to live in Hamil tucky ?" /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Wally in the NATTI /ccboard/images/graemlins/ooo.gif
Wally in CINCY /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Why not Wally in Hamiltucky /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

06-28-2003, 10:57 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Karatemom:</font><hr> Hi Dee. I know Chris and I would both be up for some one pocket at the Open. Chris is a much better player than myself, but I love the game!

Heide <hr /></blockquote>

I would love to play 1-p just once. Hope someone there has time for a newby. ww will play me 8ball or 9ball but hates 1-p. Hope this helps wally. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Yes, I'll play a game or two with you....


06-29-2003, 02:16 AM
Woof little doggie, woof.

Walk into my yard and bad things happen. I will not be intimidated, I will smash. I will win at 1 hole, I will win at 8 ball, I will win at 9 ball, I will probably lose the beer drinking and chicken wing eating contest. I will have my revenge. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Kato~~~is looking forward to the ensuing battle though Ken's trips home will be much longer than he anticipates.

Fred Agnir
06-29-2003, 01:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote John in NH:</font><hr> It's been a great learning experience for me, I consider Steve an expert at the game, I'm very fortunate to have met him.
<hr /></blockquote>Are there a lot of one holers or one hole action in NH? I would have thought it all but non-existent.


06-29-2003, 06:40 PM
I was visiting family in Chicago several years ago and had the opportunity to play a few games with George Fells at Chris's Billiards. Mostly 14:1, definitely no 9-ball and I couldn't talk him into any snooker /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif George was kind enough to also introduce the game of one hole to me... but not so kind as to let me win /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif. I really quite enjoy the game but not too many are familiar with it here in Canada. I try to create additional converts here whenever I can. ...Bob

John in NH
06-29-2003, 08:53 PM
Hi Fred,

You are correct, prior to meeting Steve I had never even heard of one pocket and had no idea how it was played, about a year ago we began playing one pocket every Wednesday night (5 hours), prior to that Steve was driving to a ph in Brighton, MA for a game on the week-end, this amounted to a two hour drive (one way), he still makes this trip occasionally but he prefers to play in NH with me on Wednesday, I'm about 30 minutes away.